Former President Olusegun Obasanjo stated on Thursday that if the government fails to restore out-of-school children to classrooms, Boko Haram will recruit them.
Obasanjo said this during a presidential youth mentorship retreat conducted at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library’s Youth Development Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The former President bemoaned the rise in out-of-school children, blaming it on a lack of sufficient education for security issues.
He stated that over 14 million youngsters who should be in school are out on the streets, and that this situation has the potential to aggravate the country’s security situation.
He said, “A situation today where we have 14 million children that should be in school that are not in school, does anybody need to be an oracle to say that 10 years or 15 years from now, those will be where you will recruit pure Boko Haram.
“So, if you deal with Boko Haram by stick today, in a few years’ time, the situation will be worst because we are talking about security, it will be worst.
“So, if we are talking of insecurity, where should we begin? If we are talking of poverty, where should we begin? It is education.
“Somebody asked ‘if everybody is educated, who will be a servant?’ and I said if everybody is educated, then we will get a better servant than you should have gotten from those that are not educated.”
The former President maintained that the unity of Nigeria is paramount, stressing that he would fight for the unity of Nigeria throughout his life.
“I have no regret fighting for the unity of Nigeria and if it comes up tomorrow that it should be done and I have ability to do it, I will do what I have to do,” he added.